Our Lympstone Manor Triassic Pinot Noir has recently scooped a clutch of prestigious accolades. The wine is the first to be produced from the hotel’s own vineyard planted by Michael Caines in 2018.
The wine achieved a gold medal at the International Wine Challenge Awards with 95 points. It was the only English red wine to achieve a gold this year and judges commented how it was, ‘A historic moment. A real Pinot Noir Trophy for England, and what a beauty! All the cool, bright-eyed scent of cherry blossom and rose, mingling with pink apple and strawberry fruit and slightest chew of red plum skins.’
The Triassic then went on to scoop a bronze medal award in the International Wine & Spirit Competition with 87 points. Five bronze medals for English red wines were awarded this year, however, no gold or silver medals were awarded. The judges commented on how the wine is, ‘Rather intense and crunchy blackberry fruits, with some earthy notes and spiky acidity.’
Michael Caines’ belief in the potential for Devon wine saw him plant 17,500 vines in 2018 in the parkland of Lympstone Manor with the aim to produce a high-quality English sparkling wine using the varietals of Champagne, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier. In 2020, after a beautiful and warm summer, the first harvest took place and in partnership with Lyme Bay Winery the vineyard produced its first wine. Surprisingly, it was a red made from Pinot Noir, the great grape of Burgundy. With a nod to the ancient stretch of UNESCO heritage Devon coastline with which Lympstone Manor shares its home, Caines named the wine Triassic.
Michael said, ‘These prestigious awards for Triassic are satisfying and deeply important to me personally. When I first set eyes on Courtlands, the dilapidated Georgian mansion that we were to transform into Lympstone Manor, I immediately sensed that its parkland, extending in a sheltered bowl down to the foreshore of the Exe estuary, was the perfect setting for a vineyard. Many of the great wine regions of the world overlook rivers and estuaries so why not here? But we had not yet done any analysis or soil tests. It was just a feeling in my heart. These incredible awards made by panels of experts for a red wine made from vines that were only three years old validates that feeling and gives me the greatest satisfaction and hope for the future.”
Lyme Bay Winery, producers of award-winning wines, was chosen to the be the partner in this exciting project. After harvest, the grapes are quickly transported to the Lyme Bay Winery to be pressed and fermented, and then subsequently aged, in the case of Triassic, in new French barriques.
‘The fruit was a dream to work with.’ said Lyme Bay’s Managing Director and winemaker James Lamber, ‘Lyme Bay Winery is incredibly proud of Michael, Steve and all the team at Lympstone Manor who have grown such a beautiful wine. The fruit was a dream to work with, and given the spectacular potential of the site, we are confident there will be many more award-winning wines coming from it in the future. We are thrilled for the entire Lympstone team and are equally thrilled to play a small part in their ambitious project.’ Triassic was not the only success that Lyme Bay Winery enjoyed: at the International Wine Challenge they also received a gold medal for their own Lyme Bay Chardonnay 2020 – the only Gold English white wine, a further demonstration of the excellence of the winemaking team.
This Autumn, Lympstone Manor will unveil its Classic Cuvée, made from the first harvest of grapes from the exceptional harvest of summer of 2020. Like Triassic, the wine has been crafted at the Lyme Bay Winery, with the assemblage of the cuvée made by Caine, Steve Edwards, James Lambert, and other wine professionals. The vintage has the potential to produce the style of premium English sparkling wine that Caine always envisaged, with richness, depth of flavour, and structure to enable it to be enjoyed with his cuisine.
Triassic and Lympstone Manor Classic Cuvée (the latter to be released in Autumn 2023) are and will be available exclusively in Lympstone Manor’s Restaurant and Pool House Restaurant & Bar. Vineyard tours are available to guests and visitors every Wednesday between May and September and include a vineyard visit, tasting of Triassic along with a delicious four-course lunch.